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Missouri GOP Votes to Defund Libraries Amid a Nationwide Republican Crackdown

HeadlineApr 12, 2023

In Missouri, the Republican-controlled House on Tuesday approved a budget that completely defunds public libraries. The move came in response to an ACLU lawsuit filed by the Missouri Association of School Librarians and the Missouri Library Association, challenging a recent law that bans certain books. The measure has led to the removal of over 300 books from school libraries — many with LGBTQ characters and social justice topics. Missouri Democrats have denounced GOP censorship. This is state Representative Peter Merideth.

Rep. Peter Merideth: “I feel like we’re starting to live in a dystopian future from like '1984' or 'Fahrenheit 411,' or whatever — '451,' thank you — where we’re talking about book bans from the government, and then the government being mad at librarians as the threat to our kids, and defunding public libraries. That’s the real world here today in Republican-led Missouri.”

Meanwhile, in Texas, Llano County officials are considering shutting down the local public library system after a federal judge ruled the banning of some dozen books, mostly for children, is unconstitutional. The county has been ordered to put the books back in circulation, prompting Llano County commissioners to hold a special meeting later this week to determine whether libraries should close instead of complying with the order.

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